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Divinity Road residents parking zone paying off
NEARLY 600 parking tickets have been dished out in the first three months of a new residents’ parking zone in East Oxford.
The Divinity Road controlled parking zone was brought in to prevent commuters and shoppers parking in streets in the area.
And three months on, enforcement officers have handed out 599 tickets at £60 each – which reduce to £30 if paid within 14 days.
Elizabeth Mills, who lives in Divinity Road, said: “It has been a massive improvement.
“People are able to park without having to drive around and around the block, which saves the environment and people’s stress levels.”
She said: “The major problem was that so many people were parking in our streets because they are the closest to the centre of Oxford with no parking restrictions.”
A controlled parking zone – or CPZ – is an area where only residents are allowed to park their cars in the streets as long as they pay £50 for a permit from Oxfordshire County Council.
The Divinity Road zone was introduced on October 15 last year after five years of consultations and delays because of public concern and funding problems.
It was first proposed – along with the Magdalen Road CPZ – in 2007.
But while there was less opposition to the idea in the Divinity Road area, the proposals split the Magdalen Road area in two and the whole scheme was delayed.
Budget cuts put the scheme back further and it was not until Oxford University stumped up £257,000 to cover the cost – as part of its plans to expand its Old Road campus – that it was able to go ahead.
Jolene Sims is an administrator at Jack Howarth House care home in Hill Top Road, which is also covered by the CPZ.
She said: “Since they have installed the CPZ it has been absolutely excellent for our wheelchair users to get up and down the pavements.
“The cars used to be parked on both sides of the road and some on the pavement which meant it was very narrow to get down.
“We had to wheel them down the middle of the street and ambulances struggled to get down the road.”
Residents in the Divinity Road zone can have two permits per house, both costing £50 a year. They are also given 25 free visitor permits lasting 24 hours, but must pay £16 for the next batch of 25.
County council deputy leader Rodney Rose said: “Early indications are that, by and large, the CPZ is delivering what the majority of local residents told us they wanted in terms of tackling commuter parking and creating a more pleasant environment along the road.
“It’s obviously still early days and we will continue to listen to feedback from residents in the coming months to make sure the scheme is as effective as possible.”